Unverified Ownership All roads lead back to Mazderp - altoid's second Mazda3

altoid

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Oops, I did it again.

When I sold my last car last year (huehuehue), I did it with the plan not to replace it. I wanted to try carless life in LA, since I had barely been driving at all.

Well, I discovered it works surprisingly well! That's a topic for another thread, but the need for a car in my life really did end up being rather low. It wasn't completely nonexistent, though, so I decided to address it. After mulling it over for about a month, I realized I'd already had the perfect car, and that I should get another. So yesterday I did.

FinalGear, meet Mel.

She's a 2014 Mazda3 i Touring with 40,000 miles. That means the 2.0 liter engine this time, and less fancy interior. Notably lower spec than my last two cars, but also less than half the cost. That was the point, really.

Future plans: not many! This is my "beater". The bike is still basically my primary vehicle—this a conveniencemobile for errands, rainy days, and, uhh, dates? Here's what I do plan to address, though:
• Headlights: Fucking lol, who tf can actually see with these useless halogens? Upgrading for sure.
• Rear view camera: I miss this feature more than I thought I would, but I've had it for the past 5 years.
• Infotainment: CarPlay would be nice, and there are aftermarket units.
• Misc small items:
- trunk cover (or whatever it's called) is missing
- tire valve caps are missing
- license plate frames are adverts (or at least the rear is)
- all interior lighting is a pretty weak effort
- one cup holder bottom rubber pad and at least two door handle rubber pads are missing

On the dealer lot, just waiting for me:
DwapgRa.jpg

NIeRpQv.jpg

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Dealer customer parking, post-purchase, next to the bike:
IcPH3SC.jpg


Home safe:
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DanRoM

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Now that's a surprise. But I can understand, and the 3 is a nice little car.

Is there a betting pot on how long you will keep it? ;) :p
 

rickhamilton620

has a fetish for terrible cars
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Looks good, and looking forward to hearing about how workable a car free life is in LA.

How was the buying experience at CarMax - I'm going to be pulling the trigger by March and have thought about looking there.
 

altoid

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Is there a betting pot on how long you will keep it? ;) :p

I hope so, and I want a cut.


Useless halogens are useless:
NigCSqg.jpg


Bae:
oPYo9E5.jpg
 

altoid

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Looks good, and looking forward to hearing about how workable a car free life is in LA.

Brief notes:
• My office is a mile away from my apartment, my gym is across the street, and the nearest train station is less than a 10 minute walk. This helps immensely.
• I generally don't need to look fancy the vast majority of places I go.
• It was only workable at all because I had a motorcycle. This place is too vast for a truly engineless life unless you're willing to stay in a fairly small area all the time.
• In the end, I found myself wanting to have the luxury of dressing up or going for just one drink without having to deal with Lyft. And there's a social aspect of being able to give people a ride on occasion. I drove two to and from a New Year's Eve party mere hours after buying the car.

How was the buying experience at CarMax - I'm going to be pulling the trigger by March and have thought about looking there.

It was great. You're paying more than private party for sure, but I'm a big fan of their guarantees:
• 3 days to find alternative financing (or change your mind) and they kill theirs if you deliver the full check, so it never shows up on your credit history.
• 7 days to return the car no questions asked.
• 4,000mi/90day warranty for all major components, negating much of my concern about used cars.
• Actual business you can call up if shit goes south and you want to hold them accountable.

But again, you're paying for that privilege.
 

WDWBen

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Can you do the $200 OEM Mazda part to get yourself CarPlay? I'm looking at putting it in my parents' leased 3 (a couple years newer than yours, but same body style) if they decide to keep it.
 

altoid

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Can you do the $200 OEM Mazda part to get yourself CarPlay? I'm looking at putting it in my parents' leased 3 (a couple years newer than yours, but same body style) if they decide to keep it.

I believe that requires the fancy infotainment with the touchscreen, which I don't have. I'm hoping I can find an aftermarket solution, but a cursory search yields nothing useful, annoyingly. Here we go: http://www.carnaviplayer.com/aftermarket-navigation-auto-radio-for-mazda-3-2014-2017-p-1122
 

bonoel

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That's a nice little car. Doing the headlight retrofit is a good idea.
 

altoid

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Aforementioned nav upgrade ordered, with CarPlay and rear view camera add-ons.

Headlights are next, but apparently it's not as simple as slotting in up-trim ones. The fancy bi-xenons from the GT trim are $1500 without the balast and some other things, so I'm probably better off just upgrading the bulbs. I have to do some more research to figure out what my options are, since I don't want to be the dickhead who blinds all oncoming traffic with an improper bulb+housing combination.
 

prizrak

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Aside from swapping to an actual HID housing with all the hardware there isn't really any upgrade path, the way that the light is emitted by halogen vs xenon is too different. There are LED upgrade options but basically all of them look brighter but have less of a range than your normal halogens, especially when you have projector lights like yours. You can get brighter bulbs but they burn out much faster (brighter = more heat).

I did a bunch of research on this because Xterra also comes with halogens, basically if I want more light output my best bet is to just turn on my off road lights...
 

WDWBen

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Aforementioned nav upgrade ordered, with CarPlay and rear view camera add-ons.

Headlights are next, but apparently it's not as simple as slotting in up-trim ones. The fancy bi-xenons from the GT trim are $1500 without the balast and some other things, so I'm probably better off just upgrading the bulbs. I have to do some more research to figure out what my options are, since I don't want to be the dickhead who blinds all oncoming traffic with an improper bulb+housing combination.

This is a fairly common car. Can you get the bixenons cheaper from a wrecker?
 

altoid

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This is a fairly common car. Can you get the bixenons cheaper from a wrecker?

Probably, but there's more to the system than what's in the housings. I don't care enough to get that involved, I think.
 

prizrak

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Probably, but there's more to the system than what's in the housings. I don't care enough to get that involved, I think.
I suspect it should be mostly plug and play, it’s rarely worth it for the manufacturers to build different harnesses and such
 

altoid

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I suspect it should be mostly plug and play, it’s rarely worth it for the manufacturers to build different harnesses and such

From my research that doesn't seem to be the case at all. Different harnesses come up in all threads about this.
 

altoid

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Quick basically-non-updates:

• The nav thingamajig I mentioned above arrived, but I haven't done anything about it. It's more of an adventure than I want to undertake, so I'll find a shop to install it for me. I'll have them install the dash cam at the same time.
• I've driven some 500 or so miles so far, all around LA. Great to keep the mileage low, but also great to have a useful car around.
• The 2.0 just might be the more suitable engine for this car than the 2.5, and the whole i range seems more fitting than the s. The smaller engine is quieter and more frugal, and the smaller wheels make for a noticeably more comfortable ride. I definitely drive a lot calmer now, which my wallet will appreciate in terms of both fuel economy and speeding tickets.
 

altoid

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Not much to update here, except that I've greatly improved my parking situation, which was severely downgraded upon moving a few weeks ago.

Previous apartment parking was nicely protective, but a bit tight, even when you subtract the XSR:
MmHC0yI.jpg


New parking was initially garbage:
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New new parking is bae:
f2lKKeP.jpg

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KC9mJd6.jpg


More in the matching moto update post, though less relevant to this thread.
 

altoid

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I ordered and received the nav upgrade thing all the way back in January, but haven't installed it yet. I chose only CarPlay since I'm an iOS user, but have in the meantime decided I'd like to have Android Auto as well. I tried emailing the seller a month ago, and, well…

p93vskb.jpg


I guess now I can go ahead and kill myself trying to install it. :mrgreen:
 

altoid

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So, uhh, got the stuff installed, partly by me, and partly by a pro. Well, "pro". It's so nice having CarPlay again. Don't really have any great pics, maybe I'll remember to take some eventually. 😬

In other news, the battery died. Like, died died. So I used my Yamaha FJ-09: Truck of the Year to remedy the issue:
XK5CyP9.jpg
 
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